Controversial Republican Senator Rand Paul was attacked by his neighbor, incurring significant injuries including five broken ribs and bruised lungs. Police arrested Rene Albert Boucher and charged him with fourth degree assault following the incident.
In police reports, Paul says “his neighbor came into his property and tackled him from behind, forcing him to the ground and causing pain.”
In a statement Sunday, Paul’s chief of staff, Doug Stafford, spoke of the altercation and explained that Paul’s injuries included five fractured ribs, three of which are partly or completely cracked.
“This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying,” Stafford said.
Paul also addressed the incident on Twitter:
Boucher's motivation in the attack is unclear, although some are linking his liberal beliefs (which he often shared on social media) to the crime, saying it may have been politically motivated. The two had previously been seen having "heated discussions" about political issues, including healthcare.
The Washington Post describes Boucher as an anesthesiologist who has worked at several facilities in the area for several years.
“He was active on social media and said some negative things about the Republican agenda," said Jeff Jones, a nurse who used to work with Boucher.
“He’s pretty much the opposite of Rand Paul in every way," added another mutual acquaintance.
Boucher admitted to the crime and was released on Sunday on a $5,000 bond.