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Rand Paul on Neighbor's Attack: 'I Did Think I Could Die'

Senator was first witness at trial for his lawsuit against Rene Boucher
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2019 4:44 PM CST
US Sen. Rand Paul, left, R-Ky., and wife Kelley Paul listen to questions Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, during jury selection in a civil trial in Warren Circuit Court in Bowling Green, Ky.   (Bac Totrong/Daily News via AP)

(Newser) – The trial on Rand Paul's lawsuit against the neighbor who attacked him as he did yard work is in its second day Tuesday, the AP reports, with the radiologist who saw the senator after the 2017 attack testifying in the Kentucky courtroom that Paul was walking with a "grandmother shuffle" after the incident. But Monday's testimony, from Paul himself, was a bit more dramatic: After Rene Boucher hit him with a blindside tackle after he got off his riding mower, both men flew 5 to 10 feet through the air, Paul said. "At this point, I thought, 'I can't breathe,'" he continued. "'If I do nothing, this may be the last breath I ever take, because whoever is doing this isn't stopping.' And I really thought if I got another blow to my back, I wasn't going to survive. And so really I did think I could die at that point. The thought crossed my mind that I may never get up from this lawn again."

Paul added that he had a flashback to the shooting at a baseball field during a Republican Congressional team practice that had taken place earlier that year, the AP reports. Paul, who suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung, is seeking up to $500,000 in compensatory damages and up to $1 million in punitive damages; he says his mobility is limited, his ribs will never be the same, and he is at higher risk for a punctured organ if he were to fall or get hit again. But a lawyer for Boucher, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress, said no punitive damages should be awarded. He insisted Paul has resumed his "customary lifestyle," including playing in a congressional baseball game and golfing with the president, and pointed out the condition of Paul's yard, which Boucher has cited as the reason for his attack. He accused Paul of stacking his debris near their property line. The jury is expected to visit the yard during the trial, Roll Call reports. (Read more Rand Paul stories.)

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