Join Club

BREAKING: Two charged after more overdoses at Wakefield HS

Wakefield High School entrance in February 2023 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A 19-year-old man and a teen boy are facing charges after two girls overdosed at Wakefield High School last week.

Police and medics responded to the school just before 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 for a report of a critical overdose. A student in the school clinic was going in and out of consciousness and Narcan was administered ahead of the arrival of first responders, according to scanner traffic.

Arlington County police said today that the overdose patient was a teen girl, who was transported to a local hospital along with a second overdose patient, also a teen girl. Both “have since recovered,” ACPD said in a press release.

An investigation into the overdose led police to arrest Walter Zelaya Padilla, a 19-year-old Fairfax resident, and a teen boy who lives in Arlington. They’re facing a battery of charges, with police saying that Padilla supplied fentanyl to the teen, who then gave or sold it to the victims.

The drug distribution happened within a school zone, APCD said.

The arrests come as Arlington County tries to combat a crisis of teen opioid abuse. While overdoses in general are trending down this year in Arlington, incidents of teen overdoses have prompted calls to action by parents and local officials.

In January, 14-year-old Sergio Flores died after overdosing in a Wakefield High School bathroom. In March, several Washington-Liberty High School students overdosed in the Ballston mall parking garage. Last month, another Wakefield student was found dead at an apartment building in what one elected official and a local advocacy group described as an overdose, though an official cause of death has yet to be determined.

If the student’s death last month is confirmed as an overdose, it would be at least the 11th reported juvenile overdose in Arlington County — fatal and non-fatal — so far this year, factoring the two last week and official numbers provided to ARLnow by the county earlier in September.

More on the drug arrests, below, via an ACPD press release.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Organized Crime Section is announcing two arrests following an investigation into fentanyl overdoses. Walter Zelaya Padilla, 19, of Fairfax, VA is charged with Distribution of Fentanyl to a Person Under the Age of 18, Distribution of Narcotics in a School Zone, Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics (Fentanyl), and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (x3). He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility. Additionally, a juvenile male, of Arlington, VA is charged with Distribution of Fentanyl, Distribution of Narcotics (Fentanyl) in a School Zone, and Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics (Fentanyl). Additional information regarding the juvenile suspect is restricted from release in accordance with Virginia Code.

At approximately 11:45 a.m. on September 27, 2023, police were dispatched to Wakefield High School, located in the 1300 block of S. Dinwiddie Street, for the report of an overdose. Upon arrival, officers located two female juveniles who were suffering from an apparent fentanyl overdose. One victim was given a dose of Narcan, and both were transported to an area hospital and have since recovered.

During the course of the comprehensive investigation, detectives assigned to the Organized Crime Section identified Walter Zelaya Padilla as the individual suspected of supplying the controlled substances to the arrested juvenile, who in turn, supplied the victims.

The Arlington County Police Department remains committed to thoroughly investigating narcotics incidents and holding accountable those who traffic dangerous and deadly narcotics into our community. The department’s efforts are supported by the involvement of the community and anyone with information about narcotics activity in Arlington County is encourage to report information for investigation by using our Confidential Drug Activity form.

This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s tip line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] or anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there are numerous resources available through the Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative. For additional community resources and contact information, visit our website.

Jo DeVoe contributed to this report

Recent Stories

There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.

There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…

Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.

Two Arlington County Sheriff’s Office deputies prevented a near-fatal opioid overdose in the lobby of the county courthouse yesterday morning. The individual, a member of the public and not an…

Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.

Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.

Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!

This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.

100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.

For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at

Submit your own Announcement here.

Holiday Art Show

Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to

Christmas Tree Sales

2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin

Saturday, December 2

Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.

Sale Hours:

Read More


Subscribe to our mailing list