I was followed by a crazy guy and called slurs as I walked back to my car.

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  • Oaluz
    August 2, 2023 at 11:16 pm #1124177

    I was leaving a volunteer meeting that was hosted at someone’s house. I left out the side door which leads to the street and sidewalk.

    Heading to the sidewalk, I saw a guy mumbling to himself walking to the end of the block. I slowed down so he could be past me before I got to the sidewalk. My car was not even a full block away, parked on some side street…parked in front of mansions, in fact.

    I got to the sidewalk, and I can hear the guy behind start shouting, then calling me a N-word. I don’t turn around, just keep heading back to my car. He’s following me a few yards behind, repeatedly calling me the N-word.

    I never turn around and just head to my car, to which he eventually stops and heads the other way. The only reason I think he stopped is because the volunteer house is right on the edge between the hood and the affluent neighborhood, and the street my car was on had a few other people walking down it.

    I realize if circumstances were different, he could have easily attacked me. Did I react the right way in this situation and how do I protect myself if, God forbid, I’m in a similar situation?

    Avatar photo
    August 3, 2023 at 9:36 am #1124187

    You can buy pepper spray on Amazon. I also have a Birdie, which is a personal safety alarm. Both are on keychains.

    I live in a big city, I don’t have a car so am almost always on foot or public transit getting around, I see/pass homeless and/or mentally unwell people pretty much daily. If someone is acting erratic, I don’t engage. I’ll cross the street if I’m on foot and feel uneasy. If I encounter it on transit, I’ll ignore it or change cars if I need to. You can also be in the habit of walking in pairs if you’re in or on the cusp of an unsafe area. Learn your phone’s safety features… on the iPhone, if you hold down both side buttons, it’ll prompt you to swipe if you are in an emergency situation.

    In this situation, I think it sounds fine that you didn’t engage and kept walking. I’m sorry he called you that, but in my experience, the folks out there mumbling to themselves or yelling at the clouds are the ones who will say whatever awful thing to whomever happens to be nearby or pass them.

    August 3, 2023 at 1:53 pm #1124202

    You did the right thing and it worked.

    Miss MJ
    August 4, 2023 at 1:45 pm #1124229

    Unfortunately, this is just part of living in the city. I hate it every time I see it and really, really wish this country had better mental health and substance abuse treatment and a social safety net for everyone.

    Miss MJ
    August 4, 2023 at 1:54 pm #1124230

    And to clarify – I mean the part about mentally unbalanced and/or high people screaming things at you is sadly part of being in the city. What he said was horrible and not okay, but you handled it the right way. Ignore and move on quickly.

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I was followed by a crazy guy and called slurs as I walked back to my car.

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