Pilot Awarded $300K for False Arrest

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Kenny Phillips, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    https://www.newsweek.com/united-airlines-pilot-settled-lawsuit-1471137

    This strikes home to me. In the mid-1990s I was living in a fancy suite in California doing contract software development. Pre-tech-bust, I was making a bunch of money and had a lot of perquisites. (Room service or In-and-Out? I alternated.)
    One morning the sun was blasting into my room after I exited the shower, and I opened the curtains and had it hit my body, because the windows are reflective. At least they were in every building I could see. But not at the Hilton Orange Suites. Where I was.
    Some guy two floors down in the parking lot was staring up at me. I thought nothing of it, having a cloak of invisibility, until I left for work and looked back at the building.
    I can see exactly how this could have happened to the pilot.
     
  2. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Pre-takeoff checklist Gone West

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    Hmm nothing about this on local (Denver) news maybe they will pick it up soon. Glad to hear he prevailed!
     
  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good. The whole thing was stupid to begin with.
     
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  4. Dean V

    Dean V Pre-takeoff checklist

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    According to a police report, airport employees claimed they saw Collins touching himself in his hotel room. But Silverman argued that it is not illegal to be naked in a hotel room in Denver and said that Collins wasn't aware that he could be seen when he partly opened the curtains, Fox31 reported.

    Sounds to me like he was masturbating in front of the window.
     
  5. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Or just drying off his junk. I don't like climbing into clothes while wet.
     
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  6. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Is there a statute prohibiting masturbating in a hotel room with the curtains open?

    I would gather up all of the "witnesses" and charge them as Peeping Toms. Why are they looking in hotel room windows? Looking for boobies or something?

    Two sides to every story, as the saying goes.
     
  7. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    He probably should have been a bit more aware that people outside might be able to see him standing at the window. Other than that, they should probably lighten up a bit.
     
  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    No, but public indecency laws prohibit you from doing so where you can likely be viewed by others. Ie in a hotel room in front of an open window.
     
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  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Quoting the article: Captain Andrew Collins was arrested in September 2018 after being accused of standing naked in front of a 10th-floor hotel window overlooking a Denver International Airport terminal, KMGH-TV reported.

    "Likely to be viewed by others" through a 10th floor window? C'mon. Ground floor by the pool, okay, but... (or should I say butt... doesn't say which way he was facing)
     
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  10. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

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    My old girlfriend and I took a vacation in the mountains. We get to the hotel room mid-afternoon and just decided to go at it before we went anywhere, it was some of the loudest sex we ever had. We go about the rest of our day and do it again before going to sleep, got loud again.

    Fast forward to the next morning and we're awoken by a few kids running, hootin and hollerin and shooting cap guns on the walkway outside our room. At first we're ****ed cause we are up so early. Still laying there, girlfriend yells at the kids to be quite and they actually do quiet down.

    We didn't figure out that our room window was open the entire time we were there until after I drank my coffee and questioned why we could hear the kids so well and they could hear us.

    Might not have been an arrestable offense, but it was embarrassing to know someone probably heard, very clearly, what should have been a very private matter. We both felt like everyone was looking at us funny the rest of the vacation.
     
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  11. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    The guy was just hangin' brain, what's all the fuss?

    ~Creed Bratton
     
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  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    From the 11, or 12th floor of building next to it.
     
  13. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I saw this story on tv. its the 10th floor of that new hotel at the south end of the terminal and there is no hi rise next to it, people could see him from the ground. I would have had a towel on, it seems a little shaky but who knows, the cops violated his privacy by coming in his room without a warrant.
    6 months ago, I checked into the Ramada at Denver Centennial airport, rates about a 2.5 and I have stayed there a dozen times. I was disturbed by a loud banging on my door and looked out and there were two heavily armed cops. I should have stayed behind the door and demanded a warrant. The had my name and wanted me to prove who I was. I had just flown in 2 hours before, hadn't had time to get in any dispute. I was insulted and amazed, but sort of sleepy and they left. No apology of course.
    I phoned my Son who is a lawyer in Denver, former as District Attorney and he pointed out that he only way they would have my name and room number was if the hotel clerk called them. The clerk denied it then and the next ,morning. I tried complaining to Ramada national but never got any apology or real answer.
     
  14. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    LOL. Uncle Hindsight story time:

    So there I was, smashing the slam-mat/slaying the dragon/re-hacking the currency/pick your euphemism with the girlfriend (now wife) on the VOQs on base around I don't know, like 2100. Not exactly quiet hours anyways. It was a straight up WWE Wrestlemania up in there though. To be childless again (I do love my son, but the little bastard is a professional c-blocker -- I digress).

    At any rate, so some couple to either side apparently got our room number and rang directly. The dude apparently got lit up by the prude wife and got told to call and tell us to tone it down. I swear this is not 10% truth, the dude starts off by saying my wife can't sleep and please tone it down, then you hear what sounds like a bathroom door closing. The dude pauses for like a couple seconds, then literally whispers into the phone in this unequivocally jovial tone: "....my man." I didn't need to ever meet him, but the universal high five across the wall was self-evident. It was a good day to be alive. The prude wife called the front office 30 minutes later and had us chastised by the front office for a second time, long after we've finished our business.

    I don't know if it's the fact we're both military, but we've never been sexual prudes. Living here is a bit stiffing sometimes.

    I'm glad this pilot punched back. Pro-tip: Don't victimize the affluent, turns out they have resources. I was recently surprised to find out, the grannies, gays and grandes SW dude, got a settlement from SW due to the alleged de facto doxing he accused SW of enacting during the fallout. And apparently he won it. So he profited from the whole thing. Still married too from my understanding (ol' kept gal knows what's good for her wallet, that doesn't surprise me one bit).
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  15. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Okay, I'll bite - why?
     
  16. kaiser

    kaiser Line Up and Wait

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    Wow.... I've done this a million times - I had no clue it was illegal. No body is going to die. Now I will continue to do this now to fight the oppression. This pilot is a hero.

    Live free my people!
     
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  17. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    Why? Is that bad...?
     
  18. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why are people looking in hotel room windows???
     
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  19. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    So a dude is visible naked through a hotel window and the cops get called and show up with guns drawn and make an arrest?

    REALLY?

    This couldn't have been resolved with a polite phone call from the front desk?
     
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  20. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    There seems to be a pilot, an attorney and a jury who awarded $300K that disagree with you.
     
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  21. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Sometimes LE will do sting operations where they check hotel registries looking for people with warrants. It's not an exact science and personally I don't believe it's the right way to go about it, but it happens. If they get enough info to make them think they might have a hit, they will go and try to make the arrest.

    The simple thing is just don't open the door. They can not 'legally' enter without a warrant or probable cause to believe that the person listed on the warrant is the person in the room.

    This may be what happened to you.
     
  22. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That certainly would have been embarrassing enough!
     
  23. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    Was he watching Spanktravision? I bet she was a pretty girl - does she go out with one of the YANKees? Is his favorite Little Rascal Spanky?
     
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  24. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The jury did not rule he didn’t do it. The jury ruled the guy was arrested, the city failed to prosecute the case and the defendant was suffered damages. This can happen because witnesses move, die, what ever.
     
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  25. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are clearly unfamiliar with the DIA Westin.

    Only people that could have definitively whether he was ‘touching himself’ would have been tower controllers with binos.
     
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  26. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Denver’s Finest!
     
  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    This article (which was written before the pilot was reinstated by the airline) provides some details on why the prosecutor moved to have the case dismissed:

    https://www.westword.com/news/attor...-for-dia-hotel-nudity-1-million-plus-11272334
     
  28. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Pre-takeoff checklist Gone West

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    Somehow $300K seems way over and above what is reasonable. Especially considering Greenwood Village PD destroyed an innocent party's $500K+ house while flushing out a criminal who broke into the home to escape LE. The courts ruled the police were performing their duties therefore not liable.
     
  29. Shuswap BC

    Shuswap BC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If people are staring into a hotel window, they best be prepared to see anything and everything!
     
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  30. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    The Jury ruled he was arrested? That's a new one.

    The city can 'fail' to prosecute for any number of reasons, but a very common one is inappropriate actions of the officers involved, such as in this case where they failed to make a solid and proper arrest, thus the award for wrongful arrest. Some states classify it as false arrest and it's a serious problem which many departments and cities across the country pay out to regularly.

    In this case, the officer involved stated, 'Sir, we are coming in with or without your permission, so open the door.'

    Indecent exposure is a typically considered a lower misdemeanor crime, so forcing their way into a hotel room, or threatening to do so, is inappropriate behavior on their part. You do NOT forcefully enter someones abode to effect a misdemeanor arrest without there very likely being financial repercussions down the road.

    And that's all assuming that the guy was standing there waving his willy in the air fully intending to 'commit' indecent exposure. Very questionable in the 10th story floor of a hotel. These officers chose to act inappropriately and now the city is paying for their actions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  31. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    So those lawsuits took place in the same jurisdiction, with identical sets of facts and invoked the same statutes?
     
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  32. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    So you have just stumbled upon one of the great secrets of our judicial system.

    Right or wrong, it has long been ruled that police, border agents, etc, are not liable for damages incurred during the performance of their duties, as long as they are found to be acting appropriately and in good faith.

    Not only that, but police departments across the country are now using 'Civil' forfeiture laws to take personal property without due process, if the 'officers' believe the property 'might possibly' have been used in the commission of a crime.

    This is a huge thing right now and some states are just now beginning to put laws on the books prohibiting police departments and cities from charging individuals with Civil Forfeiture.

    I agree with these new laws. I do not believe any police or gov agency should be able to take anyone's property without due process. That is why we have Criminal Forfeiture laws.

    Bottom line, in this case you are comparing a wrongful arrest case against a case where police where chasing a bad guy and damaged another property in the process. They are both wrong, but different cases.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  33. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We all have our opinions on what is reasonable. Mine is that the Greenwood Village decision was unreasonable, and the Denver decision was reasonable. According to this article, the pilot ends up having to explain what happened "every day," including to the TSA whenever he reenters the country:

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/united-airlines-pilot-300k-city-denver-wrongful-arrest
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  34. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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  35. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It certainly does make a mockery of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. I don't know what the Supreme Court was smoking when they accepted the idea that civil forfeiture procedures satisfy due process.

    "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

    "No State shall...deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
     
  36. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    According to Colorado Criminal Code, here's the parameters to commit 'Public Indecency'.

    It appears our hero did not violate ANY of these codes. There's your wrongful/false arrest right there.

    And it's only a Class 1 Petty Offense as well. These officers where wrong from the get go!

    == == == == == == == ==

    Colorado Revised Statutes

    Title 18 Criminal Code
    § 18-7-301 Public indecency

    (1) Any person who performs any of the following in a public place or where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by members of the public commits public indecency:

    (a) An act of sexual intercourse;  or

    (b) Deleted by Laws 2010, Ch. 359, § 1, eff. Aug. 11, 2010.

    (c) A lewd exposure of an intimate part as defined by section 18-3-401(2) of the body, not including the genitals, done with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person;  or

    (d) A lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person;  or

    (e) A knowing exposure of the person's genitals to the view of a person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person.

    (2)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), public indecency is a class 1 petty offense.

    (b) Public indecency as described in paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor if the violation is committed subsequent to a conviction for a violation of paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section or for a violation of a comparable offense in any other state or in the United States, or for a violation of a comparable municipal ordinance.

    (3) Deleted by Laws 2010, Ch. 359, § 1, eff. Aug. 11, 2010.
     
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  37. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    The public perception of lewd has changed since the internet. Being an old fart I well remember the days when a radio or tv show would be instantly shut off for even one four letter word, and sometimes even for merely hinting at the word without saying it (Jack Parr and the WC, for those of you too young and dense to even know what that is)
    Given the present state of the Queer Nation, LGBTQ + X Y AND Z, topless nudity on beaches, the seven words now used hourly in TV, yadda yadda, it seems the laws written two and three generations ago are in dire need of being revisited by the lawmakers.
     
  38. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    He was on his phone talking during the event on business calls. Stories of him being involved in other activities were shown to untrue.
     
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  39. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

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    Some guy keeps emailing me telling me he saw me, and worse yet he recorded it. And somehow he got my password. I told him he has to pay the same rate as everybody else but so far no response.

    Nauga,
    and his short film
     
  40. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Good God. . .if you happen to notice, have the courtesy to avert your gaze, and get on with your day.

    Working late on a weekend, walking through a hall, I turned a corner and encountered two colleagues exchanging bodily fluids; turned on my heel, went back the way I came. A private, intimate moment, not intended for my notice, or comment, and not needing an expression of opinion on appropriateness (or not) from me.

    Did me no harm.
     
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