DENVER (CBS4)– A judge has dismissed an indecent exposure charge against a United Airlines pilot seen naked through the windows of the Westin hotel at Denver International Airport. The charges against Andrew Collins have been dropped.
Andrew Collins of Virginia said he was the victim of governmental misconduct when Denver police arrested him on Sept. 20 for standing naked in front of his 10th floor hotel window overlooking the airport.
“This should have never have happened,” Collins told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann via Skype. “I have never been arrested in my life.”
A trial was scheduled to start in the misdemeanor case against Collins later this month, but prosecutors said there wasn’t a reasonable likelihood of conviction and the judge agreed.
“Thank goodness the criminal case is over,” Craig Silverman, Collins’ attorney, told CBS4. “They made a mountain out of a mole hill.”
Collins said on the morning of Sept. 20, 2018, he woke up in his room at the airport hotel and opened the curtains to enjoy the view.
“I remember it was a beautiful day,” he said.
Little did he know, however, some passengers in the main terminal were getting a view they didn’t expect.
“I was about to get into the shower,” Collins explained.
Collins was naked. He was walking around his room while on a business call about his ongoing campaign to become the elected leader of the nation’s largest pilot union. A witness who called police said the naked man was acting inappropriately.
“Did you have any idea, Andrew, that people could see you when you were in your room?” Werthmann asked.
“No, none. None,” he replied. “
Collins explained that in his 26 years as a commercial pilot he has stayed at more than 2,000 hotels. Most, he added, have tinted or mirrored windows so he assumed the Westin at DIA did as well.
“That didn’t mean I was standing there doing any lewd behavior,” Collins said. “I just had an expectation of privacy. I didn’t think walking around my room while I was on the telephone violated any laws.”
Collins’ attorney said the two responding Denver police officers went too far when they arrested the captain for indecent exposure. Silverman said police did not have a warrant to go into the hotel room.
“They could’ve knocked on the door. They could’ve called his room, but you can see from the body cams they took it to an extreme level,” Silverman said. “These Denver police officers violated my client’s constitutional rights and that needs to be vindicated.”
On Friday, Silverman filed a “Notice of Claims” with intention to sue the city of Denver. It says Collins is entitled to at least $1 million.
“My family has had to deal with things they had nothing to do with,” Collins said. “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. Crew members tell me they no longer feel safe in their hotel anymore.”
United Airlines suspended Collins and is still conducting an internal investigation, so it’s not clear when or if he will return to work. However, Collins said he is hopeful he’ll be back in the skies again soon.
“What I want most is for this to never happen to anybody again,” he said. “I don’t want someone to have to live the last six months of my life.”