Captured screenshots of Rene Boucher’s Facebook page provided to Secrets and taken down since the event also show that the anesthesiologist was a fan of the #NeverTrump clan.
I appreciate all of the support from everyone. A medical update: final report indicates six broken ribs & new X-ray shows a pleural effusion— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 8, 2017
Boucher's lawyer said that politics played no part and it has been suggested that the two verbally tussled over lawn clippings, leaving the impression that the Republican Kentucky senator was a negligent landscaper.
But seven neighbors in the Rivergreen gated community told Secrets Wednesday that the Pauls are friendly homeowners who kept their property tidy.
“The Pauls' landscaping looks just like everyone’s place in Rivergreen. Wish I could get him to cut my lawn,” said neighbor Robert Warner. “As a friend, neighbor and senator, Rand has been first class in every way. What I find amazing is the fact that he cuts his own grass. Our neighborhood is fortunate that the Paul’s live here,” he added.
All seven neighbors expressed shock at the “scary” attack on Paul as he was doing yard work last Saturday and they dismissed reports that it was the result of poor landscaping. However, they are puzzled about why Boucher, 59, allegedly tackled Paul, 54, who was wearing ear plugs at the time. Boucher has been charged with assault.
“The stories of a ‘landscaping dispute’ or a dispute of any sort between Rand Paul and Rene Boucher are erroneous and unfounded. The reason for Mr. Boucher’s bizarre attack is known only to him. Statements to the contrary are irresponsible and unnecessary,” said neighbor Travis Creed.
He added: “Speculation regarding Boucher’s motive has led to an unfair characterization of the Pauls and their home. The Pauls are and always have been great neighbors and friends. They take pride in their property and maintain it accordingly. Rand has enjoyed working on and maintaining his lawn for as long as I have known him.”
Another neighbor, Dan Renshaw, owner of a large car sales group, told us, “This episode is so wrong on so many levels, to be absolutely blindsided and attacked while mowing one’s lawn. I can’t imagine being in my yard pulling weeds or mowing and being totally attacked by anyone, much less my neighbor? It’s hard to believe he was out of jail the next morning on a $7,500 bail.”
He took note that the attack wasn’t on any neighbor, but a U.S. senator. “What kind of individual does this? It’s scary when it hits this close to home, to friends or neighbors,” said Renshaw.
Renshaw also dismissed the speculation that the fight was over landscaping. “Their lawn is always mowed. It’s such a lame excuse. That could have killed Rand if a rib had punctured a lung, or worse yet, the heart. Just no excuse for this type of behavior from adults. Especially educated adults.”
Paul on Wednesday tweeted that his condition included six broken ribs and excess fluid around his lungs.
Neighbor Alicia Stivers express shock at the violence of the attack. “I have never heard Sen. Paul speak an unkind word about anyone, let alone become physically violent. Which makes it all the more shocking that a next-door neighbor of many years who has not so much as exchanged an email or spoken word with Rand in several years, would race downhill and pummel Rand from behind."
Stivers said she has served four years on the neighborhood association and said that there were no reports of problems between Paul or Boucher. “I am wondering how the media can describe what took place as an altercation. Is it an altercation when no words are exchanged and one person is attacked from behind with no warning? I must check my dictionary."
Ditto from Rina Malmquist, the current Rivergreen homeowner’s association president.
And neighbors Kevin and Diona Kelly told of how Paul and his wife Kelley are friendly neighbors who even include them in their annual “Paul Family Football Game” at the holidays.
“It is here that Rand and his family welcome any and all neighbors, whether you choose to be a player, a cheerleader or a self-appointed referee you are part of a team. It is here that we join to catch up on our busy lives, to reminisce about our many afternoons at the lake and to reacquaint ourselves with the simple task of ‘being neighborly,” they said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org