Rene Boucher of Bowling Green, Kentucky has been charged with one count of fourth-degree assault, and remains in the Warren County Detention Center after reportedly attacking Sen. Rand Paul Friday afternoon.
“Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault,” said Paul’s communications director Kelsey Cooper, while addressing the media. “The assailant was arrested and it is now a matter for the police. Senator Paul is fine.”
According to Kentucky State Police Master Trooper Jeremy Hodges, the 59-year-old Boucher is an acquaintance of Paul. Hodges told CBS he could not release any specific details of the assault due to security issues.
“A criminal complaint says that Paul 'told police that his neighbor came onto his property and tackled him from behind, forcing him to the ground and causing pain,'” reported Phil McCausland of NBC News. “The Republican senator suffered injuries to his face, including small cuts to the nose and mouth and ‘and had trouble breathing due to a potential rib injury.’ At the time the report was made Paul was being seen by a physician and the extent of any rib injury was unclear, the complaint says.”
CBS affiliate WKNY reports the FBI believes the alleged attack was politically motivated. It is believed that the nature of the attack led to the fourth-degree charge as opposed to a more serious assault charge.
“If he was using any type of a dangerous instrument, then it would have been a felony charge,” Hodges told CBS.
After the incident, a warrant was issued for Boucher’s arrest. Louisville NBC affiliate WAVE reported a mutual neighbor of Paul and Boucher claimed the two have had ongoing problems. Boucher reportedly admitted tackling Paul in the aforementioned criminal complaint.
Fourth-degree assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky, so Boucher is likely facing up to 12 months behind bars and/or a fine if he is found guilty of the charge.