The Slatest

Retired Anesthesiologist Who Tackled Rand Paul as He Stepped Off a Riding Lawnmower Might Get Months in Prison

Sen. Rand Paul in an elevator at the U.S. Capitol.
Sen. Rand Paul arrives at the Capitol for a vote on Nov. 13, 10 days after he was attacked. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The neighbor who allegedly body-slammed Rand Paul in November over a landscaping dispute might get up to 21 months in prison, according to court documents posted Monday.

Federal prosecutors will recommend the sentence for the neighbor, Rene Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist. Boucher, who was charged with fourth-degree assault, accepted a plea deal.

Boucher told police he assaulted Paul because he had “had enough” after he saw Paul stack a pile of brush near Boucher’s yard, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. According to the plea documents, he then “executed a running tackle.”


Paul, who was just stepping off a riding lawnmower, was wearing earmuffs at the time and didn’t hear Boucher coming. The attack broke several of his ribs, and he later developed pneumonia as a result of his injuries.


Paul’s 911 call from the attack was also released Monday. In it, he describes being assaulted on his lawn and can be heard breathing heavily.

According to the New York Times, Paul had “long stood out” in his upscale neighborhood for his slovenly yard ownership. “The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts, and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations,” his neighbors told the Times. At the time, they hypothesized, Boucher, who had lived next to the libertarian senator for 17 years, might have snapped over “stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.”

Skeptics out there might point out that it’s suspicious the two reportedly hadn’t spoken to each other in years, that Paul is a libertarian and Boucher an outspoken registered Democrat, and that Paul had staff privileges at a hospital where Boucher had worked, meaning they likely interacted professionally. The two were known to have “heated discussions” about health care, one man who knew them told the Washington Post.

Boucher, for his part, has maintained the attack had nothing to do with politics.