A defiant Correa shouted, "Kill me if you can. Kill me if you have the courage!"
Instead police fired tear gas, some of which nearly asphixiated the president. He was also shoved and pelted with water.
Correa was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was trapped for most of the day as protesting police surrounded the building. In the streets at least one person was killed in the clashes.
Twelve hours later, Correa was rescued by Ecuadorean soldiers, who used automatic weapons and concussion grenades to return Correa to the Presidential Palace.
There, Correa stood on a balcony, addressing the thousands of supporters who had gathered in solidarity with the 47-year-old president. He promised to restore order and the crowd then burst into singing Ecuador's national anthem.