U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said nothing prepared him for the moment on Nov. 3, 2017, when, after getting off his riding mower to pick up a stick in his yard, he was tackled by his neighbor, Rene Boucher.
Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, was the first witness called Monday at the civil trial between him and Boucher, in which a jury will decide how much in damages to award Paul for injuries resulting from Boucher’s attack.
Attorney Tom Kerrick, representing Paul, has requested up to $1.5 million in total compensatory and punitive damages, and Paul has claimed $7,834.82 in medical bills.
Jurors have heard that Paul sustained six broken ribs, three of which were displaced, and suffered two bouts of pneumonia after the attack.
Prior to the attack, Paul said he and Boucher had not talked with one another for “roughly 10 years” and had no cross words, with the senator saying the tackle was something “out of the blue.”
Paul said he continues to take ibuprofen to manage his pain and he had surgery a week ago for a hernia in his groin area that became apparent a month after he was tackled.
“I don’t think it’s fair that I have to live with this kind of pain because somebody did something like this on purpose to me,” Paul said Monday during testimony.
Paul said the day of the attack was unseasonably warm, enough for him to wear shorts while doing yard work outside his home in the Rivergreen subdivision.
Wearing noise-canceling headphones, Paul had no indication an attack was imminent and had no idea what was happening for several moments afterward as he was tackled from behind while standing on a slope.
The senator estimated that the blow from Boucher carried both of them through the air for five or 10 feet before he landed face-down.
He said he thought of the incident months earlier that year, when he was at a practice before the annual Congressional Baseball Game in which a gunman wounded five people.
“The thought crossed my mind that I’ll never get up from this lawn again,” Paul testified Monday before a Warren Circuit Court jury of seven men and seven women.