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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Do I have a good reason to fear walking downtown at night alone?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17719points) September 16th, 2016

I’m 6 foot 5 inches 250 lbs . What are the odds that some one would rob me? I’m scared out of my mind that someone would confront me. I just want to be ignored outside at night. Day time isn’t much better.

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21 Answers

rojo's avatar

At 6’5” 250lbs I don’t think I would worry much about where I walked as long as i used a modicum of common sense about my route.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Okay, here is a simple way to look at this:

Don’t wear a $1000 watch or gold chains around your neck.
Don’t get drunk or act like you are drunk
Don’t flash a lot of cash.
Walk like you know where you are going.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If I were a mugger, I would surely go for easier pickings than a man of your impressive dimensions. It would also occur to me that you might be an off-duty cop. But there are crazies out there who don’t think like that because their need for immediate cash is much greater than their common sense, so do what is suggested by the guys above.

For a short time, I was an organ courier. I had to take self defense and situational awareness courses before I could get on board. It was vital that the transplant organ made it from the donor hospital to the recipient hospital and not be sabotaged by some junkie in an airport after the money for his next fix. The most important part of these courses were not the actual techniques of physically neutralizing a perp, but situational awareness and even how to not walk like a victim advertising to be mugged. The best defense is to cause the perp to pass you by for easier prey.

Like Tropical Willie said, always walk as if you know exactly where you are going. Nighttime is not the time to aimlessly wander around and sightsee, or look like you are doing so. That screams of lost tourist and easy pickings.


Victims of violent crimes like a mugging or robbery call attention to themselves by either being oblivious to their surroundings (defenseless) or by looking helpless (unable to defend themselves).

Walk down a street with your head up and looking around. Walk tall, don’t stoop, look confident.

Don’t hug either side of the sidewalk, especially not the inside where you have to pass close to doorways.

For God’s sake, don’t text and walk or be talking on the phone. It is obvious that your mind is somewhere else and the mugger knows you won’t know what hit you. Don’t become absorbed in any electronic device while on mass transit. You’re screaming out “ROB ME!”

Don’t stare (it can be taken as a challenge) but don’t be afraid to look at people (it isn’t an elevator). You can nod or smile if you’d like, but beware of offering an unintended invitation.

Situational Awareness:

Try to pay attention to the unusual when out walking.
Has that person been behind you for a while?
Do they stop when you stop and continue when you do?
Do they look away when you turn to look at them?

The easiest thing to do is go into a public place, like a coffee shop or an eatery, and have a seat…if they stop too, you might consider calling 911 and have them check out your stalker.

The worst thing to do is continue on your way is it takes you to a less traveled area…if you can’t stop; take a longer but busier route

Zaku's avatar

Which downtown, and which part? Makes a massive difference.

Your size and gender mean even if there is a robber, they’ll tend to pick someone else. Depending on how you show your fear, though, that might be something of an invitation to some. Though if you’re that scared and it leads you to prefer safer places, you may very likely be in places where there are no muggers. Behavior makes perhaps the most difference, if/when you’re someplace where there’s actually a mugger.

Oh, and no, I don’t have a fear of walking downtown, in most parts of most downtowns.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You’re as big as you feel. Size alone can make you a less than ideal target. But the way you carry yourself speaks volumes. Especially to an experienced robber.
Take some self defense classes. Learn to harness your power. Then you can walk as a man amongst men.

I’m 6’5 300 lbs. When I walk anywhere ,in my mind, I’m the badest mother fucker in the world. I keep that in my eyes and most people don’t bother me. Because I’m pretty well versed at defending myself I do fine when tested.

If you have multiple guys messing with you. Badly hurt the one you think is the leader. The rest will run.

Be the man you were meant to be. People are probably afraid of you, with your size anyway.

You were meant to be a lion at that size. Not a mouse. Give us a roar big guy.

YARNLADY's avatar

Why would your size or any other description matter? The chances of any danger is exactly the same, by which I mean very minimal.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Disagree. A 150 lb crack head would rather tussle with someone who isn’t twice his size.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I disagree with Yarnlady as well, BUT any advantage your dimensions may give you will be nullified by walking in a stoop or looking indecisive, inconfident and oblivious in general. Your body language gives it all away.

A person has to be completely degraded to become a predatory mugger and they smell out victims, they can spot them a mile away. They know right away the ones who will resist and the ones who won’t by their body language and the way they walk.

Buttonstc's avatar

Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been in any part of Canada, but based upon my experiences in the Red Deer area in the past, I wouldn’t worry about it for half a second. And I’m 5’ 2”.

But it’s basically a far more rural type of area than many other places I’ve lived. Just keep in mind what was written about situational awareness and odds are that you’ll be fine.

The Calgary stampede has run its course a while ago so it’s not as if you’re likely to encounter any groups of drunken thugs.

Just relax and go about your business and walk with purpose. Compared to many of us who live in far more potentially dangerous populated areas, you’re out in the boondocks.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Which downtown matters more than your size.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Last December I was in a parking garage, in a fairly crowded area. That night, after working in a bar I wasn’t familiar with, I encountered a masked man in a parking garage. It wasn’t close to cold enough to have the face mask. But as he approached me, I advanced on his position. Not something I recommend. He eventually stopped coming at me. He slanked away . I had about 100 lbs on him, and a knife. He didn’t waste time clearing my path.

Depending on your surroundings, you should be ok. Pick a smart spot to fight if necessary, and take advantage of your size, reach, strength advantage.

I’m not advocating violence. But sometimes, it is a last resort. As it always should be.

I would never hurt someone on purpose, for no reason. But , sometimes, they need a little convincing. That’s my job. Convince, or ‘help’ a person to the door. Keep my crowd safe.

si3tech's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I really like what @Tropical_Willie said. Walk like you know where you’re going! Apparent confidence, strength of purpose, you have a do-not-mess-with-me looking attitude. Outward appearances, APPEARANCES make a difference. Bad people look for vulnerable-looking victims. Don’t “suit-up” as a victim.

Seek's avatar

I very rarely worry.

A few years back hubby was throwing a get-together for a few friends and I didn’t feel like being around for it, so I had him drop me off at the mall for some retail therapy. The plan was to call a cab to get back home (this was before Uber), but when time came I failed to realise that it was the weekend of Tampa’s massive Gasparilla celebration. There was no “getting a cab” to be done. They weren’t even answering the phone anymore.

I was 15 miles from home, but only 7 miles from our favourite bar. I was certain when I made it someone would be willing to give me a ride home. I’d only have to walk through one of the least-savory parts of town to get there. In a dress and wedge sandals. At night. During Gasparilla weekend. Whatever. I couldn’t stay at the mall all night.

No one messed with me. I don’t know if it was dumb luck, or any potential attackers thought I might be packing, or the fact that I probably looked like a plant. But I made it to the bar, and my good friend Andy gave me a ride home.

Pachy's avatar

I have fear of walking anywhere at night. Bad knees.

ucme's avatar

Passing traffic might mistake you for a roundabout, take care out there
Only kiddin, it’s good for morale you know :)

Darth_Algar's avatar

Size matters not. You body language speaks far louder than your physical stature. I’m 5’6” and 170 lbs, and I walk straight, head up, eyes forward rather than on the sidewalk, with a slightly pissed-up look (though that’s kind of my default expression anyway, I have resting scowl face). I don’t get fucked with, not even alone in the middle Chicago late at night.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, just because I’m a female.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. I misread the question. Do YOU have anything to fear @RedDeerGuy1. From your description, probably not. Unless they had a gun.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

That depends upon the city and the part of the city. Some cities are more dangerous than others, and all cities have bad areas I suppose. I would be careful. Muggers usually prefer smaller victims than Jack Reacher, but two or three with f guns might mug anyone. I try to learn which areas are unsafe wherever I live. I am a rather large, strong woman, and I know some martial arts, so anyone who tries to mug me will have an unpleasant surprise.

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