Reuters.com reports that a Kentucky man has been arrested and charged with assaulting a member of Congress after he allegedly attacked U.S. Senator Rand Paul in November. Investigators state that the suspect has told them the attack was not politically motivated.
Paul was mowing his lawn and wearing headphones in Bowling Green on November 3 when Rene Boucher, 58, his neighbor, saw him stacking brush near his property and became angry, saying he had “had enough.” He then ran into the yard and tackled Paul, causing 6 fractured ribs and other complications which later led to pneumonia.
Boucher has signed a plea agreement admitting to the assault resulting in personal injury. This is a federal felony. No date has been set for the court to accept his guilty plea and initiate sentencing. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, says CNN. However, Boucher’s plea agreement agrees to a 21 month sentence.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the western district of Kentucky recused itself from the case and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Josh Minkler, took it over.
News outlets have speculated about the two neighbors, who are both physicians, having a long-running dispute. However, Paul has stated that he has no issues with Boucher, has not spoken to him for a decade, and did not have an idea for any motive for the attack.
The prosecuting U.S. Attorney stated that “assaulting a member of Congress is an offense we take very seriously…those who choose to commit such an act will be held accountable.”
The Courier-Journal says that Boucher previously had been ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from Paul and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault in November.
*Photo credit Austin Anthony, AP