A United Airlines pilot is facing an indecency charge for standing naked in front of his hotel room window on Sept. 20.
Captain Andrew Collins, who has flown for United for 22 years, says he was unaware that he was giving an eyeful to the people in Denver International Airport’s glass-encased main terminal. The police, on the other hand, claim was fully aware of what he was doing.
Collins, who is based in Northern Virginia, insisted in an interview with The Denver Post that he was not aware he could be seen by people in the terminal. The airline is currently reviewing the incident.
United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson told USA TODAY that Collins has been “removed from his duties pending an internal review,” adding, “We are cooperating with authorities on their investigation.”
Collins, 54, recounted the incident in an interview with the Post published Monday.
He said he had just woken up after a rough day of being diverted to airports across the country. By the time he went to bed the night before, he had been up for 30 hours.
“I was getting ready for a shower and was talking on the phone,” Collins told the Post. “It was a beautiful morning and I opened the curtains to my window. I couldn’t see the terminal.”
He said he was unaware that people inside the terminal could see him for the duration of his 24-minute phone call.
By the time the call was over, officers from the Denver Police Department were pounding on the door of Collins’ room in the Westin Hotel. They handcuffed him and took him to the airport’s jail, where he was charged with indecent exposure.
In a probable cause statement, provide to USA TODAY by the District Attorney’s office, Officer Karl J. Coleman found that Collins “knowingly and willfully” exposed himself. He also noted that he and two other officers took statements from two United Airlines employees and a passenger who witnessed the incident.
“The suspect did open the window to his hotel room, which overlooks the hotel plaza, and in full view of the public did stand in his window fully nude, exposing himself and his genitalia to the general public,” the officer wrote.
Collins’ attorney, Craig Silverman, told the Post that he went to Collins’ room earlier this month and to the main terminal at DIA to see for himself what was visible from each perspective.
“The concourse windows are tinted green and are opaque and reflective. It’s like looking at a green wall or a green mirror,” he said in a statement to the newspaper. “From inside the concourse, at that time of the morning, unbeknownst to my client, you can see into the Westin rooms, but the distance is such that you cannot see much other than a human form. My client had a reasonable expectation that no one could see into his window.”
He added, “There is zero evidence of any sexual activity demonstrating an intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person.”
Silverman also told the paper he believes the Denver District Attorney’s office will dismiss the case. He did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
Ken Lane, the spokesman for the DA’s office declined to comment on the case, which is currently pending. He said Collins is due in court on Dec. 5 to enter his plea.
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