Police rescued four suspected kidnappers from a town hall surrounded by hundreds of angry residents who wanted to punish them themselves.
The four men, some of whom had been beaten, were hustled out of the town hall Tuesday in Cuijingo, in Mexico State on the outskirts of Mexico City, amid a hail of rocks tossed by residents.
Earlier, townspeople had tossed gasoline at the building in a bid to get at the men. There were no immediate reports of injuries among residents or police, but the Televisa news network reported one of its journalists was hit in the head by a rock while covering the clash.
Mexico state police spokesman Martin Vazquez says people in the town of Cuijingo claim the men were caught trying to kidnap a local businessman.
Police took the suspects to the town offices, but hundreds of townspeople gathered outside to demand they be handed over.
Mexico State police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstration and took the suspects out of town under custody.
A growing number of high-profile kidnap and extortion cases has sparked anger in many parts of Mexico.
The mayor of one northern Mexico city, Mauricio Fernandez, has drawn attention by pledging to set up a special group to clean up crimes like kidnapping in his city, and acknowledged that "in some form" the group might act outside the law.