When I lived in Boston, during my ashram days in the 70s, I started carrying a police whistle and a small billy club with me. While walking alone from my house to the main ashram (which was about two blocks away and around the corner) for our morning yoga and meditation sadhana, I had had a frightening experience.
It was very early, before dawn, and the streetlights were still lit. There had been several inches of snowfall recently which the snowplows had piled neatly on either side of the road. Apparently, everyone else from my house had already walked over, so I was on my own that morning. So I’m walking along in the cleared street and ahead of me to my left, lying in a snow bank, I see a figure–this figure is a man–this figure has his pants down around his ankles, this figure is naked!!!. As I approached him, (now at a much quickened pace) he spotted me and began getting to his feet and muttered something unintelligible; I started running and as I passed him, he staggered toward me (very slowly) and as I continued to run, all the while looking over my left shoulder to keep an eye on him, he stood in the middle of the road and just stared after me as I disappeared around the corner. Whew!
I never did have to blow my whistle or bop anyone with my club but I did feel safer having them with me just in case.