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City of Denver to Pony Up for Wrongfully Arrested Nude Pilot

Andrew Collins may still sue airport hotel after indecent exposure charges were dropped
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2019 7:34 AM CST
Exterior of Denver International Airport.   (Getty Images/arinahabich)

(Newser) – Andrew Collins has long insisted he did nothing wrong by standing naked at his hotel window overlooking Denver International Airport—and now, his lawyer says, it's payback time for the trouble he's endured since. NBC News reports the city of Denver has settled with Collins and will pay him $300,000 out of a liability insurance fund covering the airport. Collins, a United Airlines pilot and Air Force vet, was arrested Sept. 20, 2018, and charged with indecent exposure after he appeared in the buff in front of his 10th-floor window at the DIA Westin for nearly 30 minutes, during which time he said he was on a phone call before a shower. He says he didn't know people in the airport could see him. Cops rushed up to his room and demanded he let them in, at which point he was arrested. Collins pleaded not guilty, but the charge was ultimately dismissed in March and Collins got back to flying.

Still, the veteran pilot was suspended from United Airlines for six months, and he notes in a November 2018 Denver Post article that he was forced to end his campaign to become president of the Air Line Pilots Association. "I have to explain this situation every day without fail," Collins tells KDVR. His lawyer says they're glad the city of Denver has been held accountable—"it has now paid a price for what happened on Sept. 20, 2018," he noted in a statement, per NBC—but adds his client may still sue Westin and Marriott, which manages the hotel, for letting cops in without a warrant. Collins adds that he wants the hotel to do better at warning guests about how visible they really are to those in the airport when they stand in front of their windows. Collins also says he'll donate some of his settlement to the Innocence Project. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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