Sen. Rand Paul has been publicly silent about the bizarre attack that left him with multiple broken ribs and bruised lungs last Friday, but if you’re to take his interest in a couple of online stories for anything, he might be casting doubt on the official media narrative of the event. The basic facts of the story are apparently not in dispute: While working outside in his yard last week, Paul was ambushed from behind by his 59-year-old neighbor, Rene Boucher. The neighbor, who, like Paul, is a retired doctor, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. Those are the facts as we know them.
But as to the “why” of the attack, there are two competing narratives. The first is the one that most mainstream media accounts are running with: That these two men had an ongoing feud that had more to do with property rights and landscaping than their respective politics. While Paul is an outspoken libertarian conservative and Boucher is a liberal that some acquaintances describe as a “socialist,” it was reportedly an ongoing dispute over Paul’s lawn clippings that led to the brutal assault.
That seemed a little too pat, though, for many observers, especially when it came to light how far apart on politics the two men were. Friends and acquaintances of both said they couldn’t be further apart in their partisan views, and some even went as far as to say it was “unfortunate” that two men with such wildly different takes on the world would wind up living nextdoor to each other. In two separate stories on Wednesday, Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner reported that neighbors of the two men did not believe the official “landscaping” narrative held much water.
The Examiner spoke to several neighbors who found it extremely doubtful that anyone would take issue with the way Sen. Paul took care of his lawn:
“The Paul’s landscaping looks just like everyone’s place in Rivergreen. Wish I could get him to cut my lawn,” said neighbor Robert Warner. “As a friend, neighbor and senator, Rand has been first class in every way. What I find amazing is the fact that he cuts his own grass. Our neighborhood is fortunate that the Paul’s live here,” he added.
All seven neighbors expressed shock at the “scary” attack on Paul as he was doing yard work last Saturday and they dismissed reports that it was the result of poor landscaping. However, they are puzzled about why Boucher, 59, allegedly tackled Paul, 54, who was wearing ear plugs at the time. Boucher has been charged with assault.
“The stories of a ‘landscaping dispute’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded. The reason for Mr. Boucher’s bizarre attack is known only to him. Statements to the contrary are irresponsible and unnecessary,” said neighbor Travis Creed.
Adding fuel to the speculation? Rand Paul himself retweeted links to both stories on Wednesday, proving that he, too, disputes the official narrative. Whether that means the assault was politically motivated or whether Paul simply wants to preserve his reputation as a man who takes excellent care of his lawn, however, cannot be said quite yet.