Sen. Paul spoke to his at­tacker

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL / NATION -

FRANKFORT, Ky. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says a man who tack­led him in his yard spoke to him af­ter­ward about why he was un­happy, but Paul said no ex­pla­na­tion would have jus­ti­fied what he called an un­pro­voked at­tack.

Paul spoke about the as­sault with the Fox News Chan­nel, which put a por­tion of the in­ter­view on its web­site Tues­day and aired some on its 6 p.m. news­cast.

Paul said he never saw the at­tacker be­cause he was fac­ing down­hill and wear­ing ear pro­tec­tion from the noise of his lawn mower. He didn’t elab­o­rate on what the man said to him.

“Af­ter my ribs were bro­ken, then he said things to me to try to in­di­cate why he was un­happy, but I think the, I guess to me the bot­tom line is, it isn’t so im­por­tant. If some­one mugs you, is it re­ally jus­ti­fied for any rea­son?” Paul said.

Po­lice have charged Rene Boucher ,59, with mis de- meanor as­sault. Boucher has pleaded not guilty. His next court ap­pear­ance is sched­uled for Dec. 19.

Paul suf­fered six bro­ken ribs in the at­tack. He re­turned to Wash­ing­ton less than two weeks later but de­vel­oped pneu­mo­nia when he re­turned to Ken­tucky. His in­ter­view with the Fox News Chan­nel was the first time he com­mented on the at­tack on cam­era.

A re­tired anes­the­si­ol­o­gist, Boucher has been Paul’ s neigh­bor for 17 years. But Paul said he had not spo­ken to Boucher in 10 years. Boucher’s lawyer said the at­tack was prompted by “a very re­gret ta­ble dis­pute be­tween two neigh­bors over a mat­ter that most peo­ple would re­gard as triv­ial.”

Some neigh­bors have spec­u­lated the at­tack was mo­ti­vated by a dis­pute over yard de­bris. But Paul’s of­fice has re­jected that. Paul told the Fox News Chan­nel that ul­ti­mately, the mo­tive does not mat­ter.

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