Republican Sen. Rand Paul has 5 rib fractures after allegedly being assaulted by a neighbor at his home in Kentucky, according to multiple reports
Republican Sen. Rand Paul has 5 rib fractures after allegedly being assaulted by a neighbor at his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, according to multiple reports.
According to CNN, Kentucky State Troopers say that Paul’s neighbor, anesthesiologist and pain specialist Rene Boucher, “intentionally assaulted” the onetime presidential candidate. They also added that Boucher “admitted going onto Paul’s property and tackling him.”
The Associated Press reported that a senior staffer for the senator said his rib fractures include three displaced fractures and bruised lungs. Senior adviser Doug Stafford also told CNN that “displaced rib fractures can lead to life-threatening injuries” such as “pneumonia, internal bleeding, laceration of internal organs and lung contusions.”
Paul’s staff further told the network that they are unsure when Paul will be able to return to Washington: “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.”
PEOPLE’s calls to the Kentucky State Police were not immediately returned.
RELATED VIDEO: Rand Paul Has 5 Broken Ribs After He Was Assaulted at His Home
The longtime next-door neighbors reportedly had a longstanding dispute over something “trivial.”
Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, told local station WBKO “It’s just a disagreement — a long-standing disagreement between two neighbors.”
Baker also told WKU Public Radio, “The unfortunate occurrence of November 3rd has absolutely nothing to do with either’s politics or political agendas. It was a very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial. We sincerely hope that Senator Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible.”
The New York Times suggested the pair were arguing over landscaping, and reported that Boucher tackled Paul as he stepped off his riding lawnmower.
“They just couldn’t get along. I think it had very little to do with Democrat or Republican politics,” Jim Skaggs, who developed the gated community and who lives nearby, told the Times. “I think it was a neighbor-to-neighbor thing. They just both had strong opinions, and a little different ones about what property rights mean.”
On Sunday morning, the senator addressed the alleged assault on Twitter.
“Kelley and I appreciate the overwhelming support after Friday’s unfortunate event,” Paul wrote. “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”
A spokesperson for the Warren County Jail told PEOPLE that Boucher is currently facing 4th degree minor assault charges, but as CNN reported, assaulting a member of Congress is a federal crime, which could lead to more severe charges.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the Warren County Jail also confirmed that Boucher was released from jail on Saturday on a $7,500 bond. His next court date is scheduled for Thursday.
According to the Bowling Green Daily News, Boucher is the inventor of the Therm-a-Vest, a cloth vest designed to relieve back pain.