Denver to pay $300K to pilot wrongfully arrested for being naked in airport hotel

Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 12, 2019

DENVER (KDVR) -- The city of Denver will pay a United Airlines pilot $300,000 to settle a wrongful arrest lawsuit that stemmed from an incident at the Westin at Denver International Airport (DIA) in September 2018.

Andrew Collins was arrested for standing naked in front of his 10th-floor hotel window overlooking the airport terminal. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

According to a police report, airport employees said they saw Collins, of Leesburg, Virginia, touching himself while he was in his hotel room.

His attorney, Craig Silverman, argued it is not a crime to be naked in Denver in a hotel room and that Collins had no idea people could see him when he partially opened the curtains.

In March, a judge dismissed the charges against Collins, who was suspended for six months by United because of the incident.

"That's how we protect our rights - by holding people accountable," Collins said Monday.

Collins says even though he is back to flying and the charges were dismissed, he still deals with the consequences of the arrest.

"I have to explain this situation every day without fail," Collins said.

"I have been tagged by Homeland Security, anytime I get back into the country I am pulled aside and asked if I have been in trouble with the law," Collins said.

Silverman hinted his client is considering a lawsuit against Marriott and Westin for allowing 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 said in an interview.

Collins says he plans on donating some of the settlement money to the Innocence Project, having known now what it is like to be falsely accused.