A United Airlines pilot faces indecent exposure charges for standing naked in front of his hotel window at the Denver International Airport. I’m rather sympathetic to his case.
Andrew Collins was at the Westin Denver Airport. Apparently, he was about to step into the shower but received a phone call and took it. While on the call, he walked around his hotel room naked while on the phone. A couple TSA agents noticed him from the hotel courtyard below and phoned the police, stating that he was waving to them and “touching himself”.
Police were called, stormed his room with guns drawn, and escorted him out in handcuffs. Only in America…
Collins firmly denies he was being an exhibitionist, calling such charges absurd.
Here’s the idiotic thing. Apparently the windows at this Westin hotel are one-way…in the opposite direction. You cannot see out, but those outside can look in and see you. Thus, is it any wonder that this pilot was seen naked? A local CBS affiliate confirmed it could easily look into Collins’ 10th floor window from the ground.
Collins’ lawyer stressed the importance of expectations, a key point in adjudicating this matter:
My client had a reasonable expectation that no one could see into his window. He was unaware of any people looking at him as he focused on his important phone call while walking around his room. There is zero evidence of any sexual activity demonstrating an intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person.
Collins has been removed from duty pending investigation. While that is a reasonable reaction, the facts seem clear to me: Collins did nothing wrong.
And I’ll go one step further. Shame on the busybody TSA agents. Maybe they should be charged for violating Collin’s privacy. Don’t you have better things to do like “protect our freedom” as our “front line of defense” at airport security checkpoints? Who stares into other people’s hotel rooms?
I could be wrong. But in this case, I doubt it. In order to be found guilty, Collins must have “knowingly” exposed himself to others. That will be very difficult to prove, even with the alleged waving (he was likely having an animated phone call). Thankfully, being naked in your hotel room is not a crime.
H/T: View from the Wing // image: Westin