Constable William H. Hardmount

Constable William H. Hardmount

Monterey County Constable's Office, California

End of Watch Saturday, September 2, 1854

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William H. Hardmount

Constable Hardmount was shot and killed by a member of a gang of desperadoes when he attempted to break up a fight at a dance between several men from America, Mexico and Ireland. The suspects were fighting over rum. A member of the gang shot and killed Constable Hardmount when he attempted to stop the fight.

A member of the gang was wounded by return fire. The gang escaped, but the wounded member was arrested and hung the following day in the center of town.

Tiburcio Vasquez, 19 year old member of the gang soon became the gang's leader and went on to become one of California's most notorious outlaws robbing and killing with the gang he led for the next 20 years. On November 6, 1873, his gang killed Constable William Stewart Mettler, with the Kern County Sheriff's Department. He was apprehended in Los Angeles on May 14, 1874 and hanged on March 19, 1875.

The place where he was captured is modern day West Hollywood near the sets where many a western movie was made including movies about him. He was thought to be the source of the bandit-hero "Zorro".

Tiburcio Vasquez was the main suspect in the murder of both constable's and many others. After his capture he stated that he never killed anyone including both officers. He said only members of his gang, who were killed or disappeared over the years were responsible for all the murders.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Several escaped; One hanged

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice by your fellow law enforcement.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 2, 2020

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