United Airlines pilot arrested for being naked in his Westin DIA hotel room settles for $300,000, attorney says

He thought the window was a safe place to stand nude.
2 min. read
Denver International Airport and the new Westin hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A commercial airline pilot arrested by Denver police and handcuffed in his hotel room for standing nude near a window will get $300,000 for the "wrongful arrest," his attorney said in a statement.

When officers arrested Captain Andrew Collins, a United Airlines pilot, they said it was for indecent exposure and lewd acts, according to a body cam video of the incident from Sept. 20, 2018, at the Westin hotel at Denver International Airport. United suspended him for six months as a result.

Despite a Denver Police Department document claiming the pilot "knowingly and willfully" showed his genitals to travelers when standing in front of his hotel window, the prosecutor dropped the charge earlier this year. No evidence suggested Collins masturbated or engaged in any other lewd behavior while naked.

As Collins talked on the phone while walking nude around his room, travelers took pictures and called police. Collins's lawyer, Craig Silverman, said the pilot was unaware that people could see him through the windows, which Collins believed offered privacy.

In a press release, Silverman thanked the city for "an excellent resolution" but chided Westin.

"The DIA Westin needs to make changes to warn hotel guests that the interiors of its hotel rooms do not afford privacy but are in fact visible to unseen people far away in the Denver International Airport terminal," Silverman said. "The DIA Westin should take responsibility for its own behavior on September 20, 2018, and take appropriate steps to make sure that what happened to Captain Collins never happens to another customer at the DIA Westin."

A spokesman for the Denver City Attorney's Office said the agreement was reached Friday via mediation. The money came from an airport insurance policy.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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