Here's a little story with a message from Beth Jordan (a.k.a. lone front ranger):
This doesn't really fall under the topic of harrassment at all but I figured it might be a cautionary to everyone -- don't get complacent. Word to the dudes: this means you, too. A fella friend of mine got mugged in lodo awhile back, and was beat up pretty solid. Pay attention to your surroundings, don't walk around downtown alone if you've been partying, and in general, don't be a victim.
A little back story: I've lived in some shitty, shitty places. Think: East Dayton, Ohio (redneck-urban slum) Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati (straight-up nasty ghetto) and Baltimore (as ghetto as it gets). I moved to Boulder a few years back and believe me it is heaven in comparison. However, this anecdote goes to show that you should never completely drop your guard just because you feel safe in your community.
Last friday night the little startup I work for had a long, late meeting, and I ended up staying until nearly 8PM to clean up, etc. Now, boulder never struck me as being terribly unsafe after dark. I wouldn't want to be a freshman girl walking home alone on campus, mind you, but that's a different problem and one that's thankfully halfway across town from me. Besides, middle age has it's advantages, mainly being that you become invisible to most creeps. So i finish up, lock up, and go out to grab my bicycle (I don't drive).
Once outside, I notice that the lights are out in the parking lot AGAIN, which is a pain, cos it means I can't see to unlock my bike. I hear some rattling and scrummaging behind the dumpsters and figure it's just (four footed) wildlife in the bins. Put on my little pieztl camping headlight, unrack the bike... and all of a sudden there is THE most god-awful caterwauling row that goes off practically right next to my head! Holy flashbacks to baltimore, batman, there is a SINGING CRAZY DRUNK DUDE thrashing around in the garbage tip behind the OfficeMax, which is about fifteen feet away from me...okay now I'm skeeved. So I hop on the bike and he yells something at me, I dunno what, so I yell back at the top of my lungs "FUCK OFF!!!!" and hightail it out of there, fast.
If he'd made any moves towards me while I was unracking that bike, you bet he'd have gotten a big fat u-lock to the face and I'd have beat it over to the police station, which happens to be right next door. Now, how a couple dozen off duty cops can be hanging out right next to the unholy din this cat was making, without coming to investigate is beyond me, but... this is boulder.
On review, yeah, I know, you're right, I should have just gone and banged on the cop shop door anyway, but he really only startled me, didn't come after me, and it was likely just some homeless guy gettin his friday on. Tho' you'd better bet the first thing I did monday morning was get on the horn to the maintenance dude about those damned lights in our parking lot.
Be safe-- lfr