United Airlines Pilot To Be Paid $300,000 Wrongful Arrest Settlement After Being Accused Of Standing Naked At Airport Hotel Window

A United Airlines pilot will be paid $300,000 by the city of Denver to settle a wrongful arrest lawsuit.

Captain Andrew Collins was arrested in September 2018 after being accused of standing naked in front of a 10th-floor hotel window overlooking a Denver International Airport terminal, KMGH-TV reported.

His attorney Craig Silverman announced the settlement agreement on Monday, according to the station. Newsweek has contacted Silverman for comment.

Collins pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure after the incident at the airport's Westin hotel. A judge dismissed the charge against him in March, but United Airlines had already handed him a six-month suspension by that stage, Fox31 Denver reported.

Although he is back at work and the charges against him have been dismissed, Collins told the station he is still forced to deal with the consequences of the arrest and subsequent criminal charge "every day."

"I have to explain this situation every day without fail," he said. "I have been tagged by Homeland Security, anytime I get back into the county I am pulled aside and asked if I have been in trouble with the law."

According to a police report, airport employees claimed they saw Collins touching himself in his hotel room. But Silverman argued that it is not illegal to be naked in a hotel room in Denver and said that Collins wasn't aware that he could be seen when he partly opened the curtains, Fox31 reported.

Collins, who has been a pilot for 22 years, told The Denver Post last year that he had been "getting ready for a shower" after waking up around 10.30 a.m on September 20 last year. "It was a beautiful morning and I opened the curtains to my window," he told The Post. "I couldn't see the terminal."

He said he had been on a phone call for around 25 minutes when suddenly he heard pounding on his door. When the answered the door, he was greeted by several police officers with their guns drawn, he told The Post. He was then handcuffed and taken to an airport jail.

Silverman has now suggested Collins may also file a lawsuit against Marriott, which owns the Westin hotel chain, for allowing police officers inside the hotel without a warrant. "The DIA Westin, managed by Marriott, they performed poorly we'd like them to step up and acknowledge responsibility," Silverman told Fox31.

Collins, of Leesburg, Virginia, also urged the hotel to make changes and warn guests about how visible they are from the windows of its rooms, according to KMGH-TV.

Newsweek has contacted the Denver Mayor's office and United Airlines for comment.

westin Denver airport
Early morning view of the Westin Denver International Airport hotel in Denver, Colorado. The city of Denver has agreed to pay Andrew Collins $300,000 to settle a wrongful arrest lawsuit after he was accused of standing naked by the 10th floor window of a hotel room at the Westin. Howard Ruffner/Getty