updated 8/3/2009 2:03:22 PM ET 2009-08-03T18:03:22

A family asked to pay a ransom to free three immigrant relatives showed up with baseball bats instead, sparking a melee involving 19 people, police said.

The brawl happened in a shopping center parking lot Sunday morning in Greenwich.

The family members, who live about 90 miles away in Willimantic, told investigators their relatives had been kidnapped in Texas, police said. They had agreed to meet the captors with ransom money, but showed up armed with baseball bats and rescued the three, police said.

Greenwich police said they arrived to find a large group of men fleeing in four vehicles. The vehicles were later found. Police declined further comment.

The kidnapping suspect and the three victims were being held for questioning on immigration violation charges, police said.

The brawl followed an alert by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to area police describing a human-smuggling investigation. Citing the ongoing investigation, ICE declined to comment Monday, except to say that four people had been detained for immigration violations.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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