Suspect in Rand Paul assault pleads not guilty

WASHINGTON — The man who allegedly assaulted GOP Sen. Rand Paul outside his Kentucky residence pleaded not guilty Thursday to misdemeanor assault in the fourth degree at his arraignment in Bowling Green.

Rene Boucher allegedly tackled Paul, breaking six of his ribs and sustaining bruised lungs. There was no change to the charges and no change in bond.

Boucher’s attorney told CNN that Paul has hired a personal injury attorney to file a claim for damages against his client.

When pressed for a motive, attorney Matt Baker told CNN’s Drew Griffin that “we should believe” Jim Skaggs, the developer and neighbor who sold both men their homes.

While he did not witness the incident, Skaggs has said Boucher and Paul have been quibbling over lawn maintenance for years.

“It was absolutely and unequivocally not about politics, not about right verses left and not about Democrat versus Republican,” Baker said.

Paul tweeted Wednesday night, “I appreciate all of the support from everyone. A medical update: final report indicates six broken ribs & new X-ray shows a pleural effusion.”

He also tweeted, separately, a Breitbart News article and a Washington Examiner article that publishes neighbors’ statements disputing Skaggs, saying the issue goes beyond quibbling about their yards.

CNN previously reported that Boucher posted $7,500 bail.

According to the Bowling Green Daily News, Boucher is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist, and Boucher’s attorney’s statement noted that he and Paul worked together when they “were both practicing physicians.”