The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn
, was arrested on Saturday, minutes before he was to fly to Paris from John F. Kennedy International Airport, the authorities said.
He was accused of a sex attack on a maid earlier in the day at a Times Square hotel, the authorities said.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a candidate for president of France, was taken off an Air France flight by officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
and turned over to Manhattan detectives, according to a Port Authority spokesman. He was expected to be taken to the offices of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit at P.S.A. 5 in Manhattan, another official said.