HONOLULU (KHON2) — A retired law enforcement officer was sentenced on Monday to 46 months in prison and one year of supervised release for a cruise ship assault that occurred in 2018. According to court documents, 78-year-old John McAvay, of Henderson, Nevada, committed an unprovoked assault on an elderly passenger which resulted in life-threatening injuries.

Information in court revealed that McAvay left the scene after the assault, failing to help the victim or report the incident. The victim was airlifted from the cruise ship to the Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

The victim was then transported to Queen’s Medical Center where he remained hospitalized for about a month before being transported to a California hospital, then a rehabilitation facility.

Following the assault on Oct. 25, 2018, the victim suffered from serious cognitive and physical impairments, according to the United States Attorney’s Office, including confusion, memory loss and immobility. The victim died on Feb. 6, 2019.

Check out more news from around Hawaii

United States District Judge Jill A. Otake stated that McAvay “could have simply walked away,” but he instead “sucker-punched” the victim in the head. Otake found that the victim posed no threat to McAvay, adding that McAvay “acted cowardly, reprehensibly and despicably.”