A United Airlines captain who was arrested for indecent exposure, a charge which quickly went limp, has settled with the City of Denver for $300,000.
The incident occurred in September 2018. Recall that pilot 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. He was charged with indecent exposure.
> Read More: In Defense Of The “Naked” United Airlines Pilot
Long story short, Westin designed the windows so that guests could not see out of them, but onlookers outside could look in!
Even though the criminal charge against Collins was dismissed in March, he had already served a six-month suspension at United. And it is more than that. Even with the charges dismissed, his reputation remains tarnished. He told Devner CBS 4:
My family has had to deal with things they had nothing to do with. I have three boys who serve in the United States Air Force. They’ve had to listen to the jokes of their superiors about their father doing things in front of windows. My wife was a 30-year flight attendant for United Airlines and she has to go to work to listen to these same comments.
His attorney, Craig Silverman, who announced the $300,000 settlement with the City of Denver, added:
A respected family man and outstanding veteran aviator, Captain Collins was the victim of an unjustified and warrantless entry into his hotel room followed by an arrest and days of miserable incarceration. The criminal case against Captain Collins was properly dismissed, but not before Captain Collins was suspended for half a year from his job as a direct result of the wrongful charges against him.
As I said last year: 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 proved impossible to prove, even with the alleged waving (he was likely having an animated phone call).
It comes as no surprise that all charges were dismissed and the heavy-handed tactics of Denver police bring the settlement into the realm of reasonableness.
Is the settlement too much? Too little?
image: Westin Denver Airport