Federal agents now are investigating the weekend assault on Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in which he sustained several broken ribs.
The attack – allegedly by a politically opposed neighbor – could prompt the filing of federal charges, because the target was a federal official.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh says it’s just the latest example of the left “encouraging this kind of activity.”
Authorities said on Monday that the neighbor, Rene Boucher, “may soon face more serious criminal charges because the Kentucky Republican is suffering from several rib injuries,” the Washington Post reported.
Trooper Jeremy Hodges of the Kentucky State Police said new information about the extent of the senator’s injuries could result in a felony being filed against Boucher.
The senator, who was a GOP presidential candidate early in the 2016 race, reportedly was attacked by the 59-year-old Boucher outside his home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Boucher initially was charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
The senator’s office later confirmed he had five rib fractures and lung contusions, and his recovery will be a matter of months.
Hodges said that because of the severity of the injuries, authorities may reconsider a misdemeanor count.
“It requires serious physical injury in order for someone to be charged with a felony,” Hodges said. “Our arresting officer will submit his completed case report and then the prosecutors will make a decision about whether to upgrade those charges.”
Rush Limbaugh noted the senator was “out mowing his yard.”
“By the way, how many other senators do you think mow their own lawns? Anyway, there he was. He’s out there mowing his yard and he was attacked” he said.
Limbaugh pointed out other instances of leftist violence.
“This Looney Toon guy that shot up the congressional baseball practice that nearly killed Steve Scalise. We have this Texas shooter who’s obviously an oddball. Now this guy attacked Rand Paul, and then there’s a story: ‘Keeping Scott Pruitt Safe.’ Scott Pruitt is, of course, the EPA administrator. Since Scott Pruitt got there and has been implementing the Donald Trump anti-climate change agenda and bringing coal back to the American forefront in terms of energy production – basically focusing on fossil fuels and fracking and ignoring and shredding the Obama Regime’s climate change rules … I mean, the security detail that is needed for Scott Pruitt would blow your mind.”
He continued: “We’ve had a violent attack on a Republican senator in his own yard by a leftist neighbor. This horrible shooting in Texas at the church. We had this shooting in New York City via the Diversity Visa Program, and now we have the Scott Pruitt story from the Wall Street Journal. This actually was from November 1st.”
He explained: “It is more than obvious that the left is encouraging their followers to be vile, aggressive, abusive, and dangerous. There’s no question about it. The left is encouraging this kind of activity. They are promoting it and they celebrate it! I don’t care whether you see it in Baltimore, whether you see it in Ferguson, Missouri. Wherever you see a public riot, wherever you see any public riot with violence in response to Trump, all of this is applauded. And in the drive-by media, while it may not all be applauded, it is certainly treated with respect.”
Terrorists, he warned, “do not always just come from Uzbekistan.”
“Sometimes terrorists come straight from the Democrat Party, straight from the American left – and, worse, the Democrats then try to suggest that it is wasting money. That’s what they’re say with Scott Pruitt, wasting money trying to protect himself from their constituents. But the encourage this! The vile, repulsive, just raw rage and anger that is on display daily on social media is infectious. You know something else? I’ve referenced this before, and I’m gonna mention it again. I am seeing – and it isn’t new.”
He said the number of attacks is rising.
“It seems like a news story happens, no matter what it is, and the automatic – you know, journalism lives under a bunch of false, phony precepts. And one of them is that there must be both sides presented in every story, and in many cases both sides are presented, but it’s cockeyed, and it’s jaundiced, and it is prejudiced, and it’s formulaic. It’s almost like the pieces written are the result of cut-and-paste on the area here to include both sides.”
The motive of the alleged assault by Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist, on the senator remained unclear Monday, authorities said.
Paul reported to police Boucher had entered his property and tackled the senator from behind, “forcing him to the ground and causing him pain.”
The police report said Boucher admitted the attack but didn’t offer an explanation.
The Daily Caller cited Boucher’s registration as a Democrat.
ABC reported a spokesperson for the senator said: “It is a pending, serious criminal matter involving state and federal authorities. We won’t have any further comments at this time.”
NBC said the senator was mowing his yard, while wearing headphones, when Boucher allegedly attacked him.
“The two men had not spoken in several years and a rift between the pair possibly stemmed from Boucher’s distaste for Paul’s politics, as well as those of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a source said,” the report said.
The report said another neighbor, Jim Skaggs, said the two were “as far left and right as you can be.”