There is something very strange about the way that the senator from Kentucky was attacked by his neighbor while he was cutting the grass using his riding mower. First reports had Paul’s spokespersons downplaying the scale of the attack, saying that the injuries were very minor, suggesting mere bruises, and that the senator would be back at work soon. But that story changed later and it was revealed that Paul had five broken ribs suggesting a quite brutal attack.
Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Paul, told Fox News that it is unclear when Paul will return to work because he is in “considerable pain” and has difficulty getting around, including flying. Stafford said this type of injury is marked by severe pain that can last for weeks or even months.
“This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force,” Stafford said in a statement to Fox News.
“Displaced rib fractures can lead to life-threatening injuries such as: hemopneumothorax, pneumothorax, pneumonia, internal bleeding, laceration of internal organs and lung contusions. Senator Paul does have lung contusions currently,” Stafford said.
Some people are now saying that there had been prior disputes over landscaping, flowers, and blown leaves. It is not uncommon for neighbors to get on one another’s nerves and for something trivial to cause anger. But in the absence of an aggravating factor like alcohol, people in that socio-economic class tend to vent their anger through their lawyers and lawsuits and cease-and-desist letters and less often through direct physical action.
Paul and his 59-year old neighbor Rene Boucher neighbor have lived in their gated community for 17 years and Boucher is an anesthesiologist, so both men clearly belong to the affluent class. Newspaper accounts give Boucher’s address as 582 Rivergreen Lane in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Google maps shows that this is an area with massive homes on large lots so neighbors are not in close proximity, so many of the normal irritations among neighbors would be absent.
Boucher’s lawyer says that the fight had nothing to do with politics but does not say what it was.
“The unfortunate occurrence of November 3rd has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas,” he said. “It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial. We sincerely hope that Senator Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.”
Boucher is out on $7,500 bail, a trivial sum for such a person, and at the moment is facing only a misdemeanor charge though the injuries he caused would suggest a felony charge since Paul could well have died. It looks like everyone is trying to downplay this incident, serious though it seems. After all, it is not everyday that a sitting US senator suffers a life-threatening attack.
The Washington Post says that the story just keeps getting weirder as time goes by, and that Boucher’s lawyer calling it ‘trivial’ without specifying what it is adds to the peculiarity.
So it’s a “trivial” matter, but apparently he can’t say what was so “trivial.” Is it because the reason is embarrassing, because it might somehow be more incriminating, or what? It’s also somewhat more difficult to believe such serious injuries would result from such a “trivial” dispute. And the line about them resuming as neighbors “as quickly as possible” is a bit odd.
In the current political situation, a brawl between neighbors, even if one is a US senator, should be no big deal. But this one poses an odd little puzzle. So what might have caused Boucher to go ballistic? Inquiring minds want to know.