Rand Paul's Pumpkin Patch, Lack of Respect for Neighborhood Rules, Possibly Led to Six Broken Ribs

Was it the pumpkin patch? The compost pile? Or Senator Rand Paul's apparent disregard for basic neighborhood civility that led one of his neighbors to reportedly tackle him from behind and crack six of the Kentucky lawmaker's ribs?

More than five days after the attack, very little is known about why Paul's Bowling Green neighbor Rene Boucher reportedly attacked the senator—all that Boucher has said is the fight was not over politics but was a "regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial."

It's been the talk of Washington—and Paul's gated community—for days.

But slowly, details are coming out that cast Paul as the villain in this neighborhood soap opera.

Paul posted an update Wednesday on Twitter about his medical condition, which included that he actually broke six ribs—not five as originally thought—and had a fluid buildup around his lungs.

"I appreciate all of the support from everyone," he posted—but didn't elaborate on what led to the violence Friday as he was mowing his lawn.​ A police report says only that Boucher, 59, tackled Paul, his neighbor of 17 years, from behind. 

Neighbors say the pair have been fighting for years over plants, leaves and yard waste. The New York Times reported Paul grows pumpkins, and has a compost pile, on his property—and hasn't shown much respect for the strict rules of his homeowner's association.

That echoed the thoughts of Jim Skaggs, the developer of the subdivision where the pair live.

Paul "was probably the hardest person to encourage to follow the (regulations) of anyone out here because he has a strong belief in property rights," Skaggs told the Louisville Courier Journal.

"He wanted to actually own the property rights and build any kind of house he wanted. He didn't end up doing that, but it was a struggle," Skaggs added.

Skaggs stood by what other neighbors and Republicans have said that the fight wasn't about politics, though Paul is a libertarian who identifies as a Republican and Boucher is a registered Democrat.

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