DENVER (CN) — A commercial airline pilot arrested for being naked in his Denver hotel room sued the Westin hotel chain in federal court Friday for letting the police in.
Before piloting a plane to Cedar Rapids, Ohio, in September 2018, United Airlines Captain Andrew Collins was getting dressed in room 1017 when police raided his room and arrested him. The police body cam video shows he was wearing only a towel.
The police didn’t have a search warrant and didn’t give hotel staff a good reason to let them through, according to Collins’ complaint, and “when faced with two police officers demanding access to rooms on the hotel’s 10th floor to address the simple matter of a naked man in a hotel room, the hotel’s employees complied without question."
Collins noted in his complaint: "It is not a crime to be naked in your own hotel room in Denver.”
The Westin Denver International Airport opened in 2015, and though it advertises the beautiful mountain views from its rooms, the brochure doesn’t disclose that the windows aren’t tinted and that in the right light, travelers in the airport can catch a glimpse into guest rooms.
"[Collins] was unaware that the hotel’s windows were not reflective or mirrored, and was further unaware that the opaque green windows drenched by sunlight on the DIA terminal’s south-facing glass wall allowed travelers and airport staff to see directly into the DIA Westin’s hotel rooms with guests illuminated as if standing in the spotlight,” Collins says in his complaint.
After the charges were dropped, Denver paid a $300,000 settlement to Collins in 2019.
Besides negligently failing to inform him the windows were see-through, Collins claims the hotel failed to protect his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search, seizure and arrest.
At the time of his arrest, Collins was a candidate for the Airline Pilots Association.
Collins wants the court to order the hotel to tint its windows. He also seeks economic damages.
He is represented by Craig Silverman of the Denver firm Springer and Steinberg. Neither the law firm nor the Westin responded immediately to requests for comment.
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