'Yard clippings, unraked leaves' may have led to physician neighbor's alleged attack on Sen. Rand Paul

A disagreement over landscaping may have led a disgruntled neighbor to allegedly attack Sen. Rand Paul, MD, R-Ky., Friday, leaving the senator with lung contusions and five broken ribs, according to The New York Times.

Several of Dr. Paul's neighbors and three Kentucky Congressmen familiar with the matter told The New York Times Dr. Paul and Rene Boucher, DO, have lived next door to each other for 17 years and had previously worked at the same hospital for some time.

While police have said Dr. Boucher's motive for the alleged assault is unclear, the sources told The New York Times the incident may have resulted from growing tension over "stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves," the report states. The publication also noted Dr. Paul had previously shown little interest in neighborhood regulations, and claimed Dr. Paul grows pumpkins and composts on his property.

Dr. Boucher, 59, reportedly came onto Dr. Paul's property around 3:20 p.m. Nov. 3 and allegedly tackled him from behind. One of the Kentucky Congressmen and an individual close to Dr. Paul said the senator had been wearing noise cancelling earmuffs while riding a lawn mower moments before the incident and did not hear Dr. Boucher coming toward him, according to the report.

A lawyer on behalf of Dr. Boucher told The New York Times Monday the altercation had "absolutely nothing to do with either [individual's] politics or political agendas. It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial."

The three Congressmen, who asked The New York Times for anonymity, said Dr. Paul had been embarrassed by the incident and was not interested in drawing attention to it, according to the report.

Police charged Dr. Boucher with a misdemeanor count of assault. However, authorities may raise the charge to a felony given the severity of Dr. Paul's injuries. Police may also take evidence to a grand jury to seek an indictment against Dr. Boucher, the report states.

It is unclear when Dr. Paul will be able to travel or return to work in Congress, NPR reports.

To read The New York Times's full report, click here.

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