Sen. Rand Paul gives first interview following attack by physician-neighbor: 5 takeaways

Sen. Rand Paul, MD, R-Ky., gave his first interview Wednesday following an incident with his neighbor earlier this month in which he suffered six broken ribs and a pleural effusion, Fox News reports.

Rene Boucher, DO, allegedly assaulted Dr. Paul Nov. 3 and was charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Dr. Boucher pleaded not guilty to the fourth-degree assault charge Nov. 9.

A lawyer on behalf of Dr. Boucher previously said the "trivial" incident was not politically motivated.

Dr. Paul spoke with Fox News correspondent Marc Siegel, MD, who is also a professor in the department of medicine at New York City-based NYU Langone Health.

Here are five takeaways from the interview.

1. On how the incident occurred: "I was working in my yard with my earmuffs on. ... I got off the mower facing downhill and [Dr. Boucher] came running full blown. I never saw him, never had a conversation. In fact, the weird thing is I haven't talked to him in 10 years," Dr. Paul said. "We probably went through the air 10 to 12 feet, and then hit the ground again and so [the injuries] happened with the initial impact, but it was from the force of his head and shoulders sort of spearing me in the back."

2. On the extent of his injuries: "The kind of attack I got was kind of like what you would get from a motor vehicle accident. I mean I had six ribs broken, and you rarely see that even in an assault. … I've gone through weeks and weeks of struggling to get my breath," said Dr. Paul.

"I knew I couldn't lift my hands over my head to take my shirt off, and so I knew something had happened. I didn't know how bad it was until the X-rays came back. It was also one of those things where the initial pain, the initial shortness of breath, wasn't the full extent of the injury," he added. "I'm still in pain; every time I breathe I can feel pain, but it is not like a knife sticking in me like it was in the first three weeks."

3. On how the attack affected him: “I think people see someone on TV and they think you are not real, that you don’t deserve any sort of compassion and that maybe you don’t hurt like a normal person," Dr. Paul said. "I think my wife said it best when she said I sort of got assaulted twice ... once in my yard somebody attacked me from behind and then the media, who thought it was sort of funny or gleeful, or that maybe I deserved it somehow."

4. On why he believes Dr. Boucher allegedly attacked him: "I didn't [know Dr. Boucher's reasoning] before the attack because we had no conversation. After my ribs were broken … he said things to me to try to indicate why he was unhappy," he said, adding that a person can never really understand what another individual is thinking.

"[Dr. Boucher's motives] may have some relevance, but for the most part the real question should be: Are you allowed to attack someone from behind in their yard when they are out mowing their grass? Even if you dislike something about their yard? So I guess in my mind, I don’t really care what his motives are, other than it's cowardly and it’s criminal to attack someone from behind in their yard," Dr. Paul said.

5. On what others should take away from the incident: "If you want a good message out of this ... every one of my Democratic colleagues came up to me and wished me well," Dr. Paul said. "To tell you the truth, I think it is one of the unwritten stories in Washington. They think that 'oh, incivility rules Washington.' Nothing could be further from truth. As far as Republicans and Democrats talking, I've never had a cross word with a Democrat, I promise you, never."

To read Dr. Paul's full interview, click here.

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