2 facing charges in connection with suspected fentanyl overdoses at Wakefield High School

Two people have been arrested and are facing charges in connection with two apparent fentanyl overdoses that took place at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, last week.

In a news release, Arlington police said they arrived at Wakefield High School last Wednesday around 11:45 a.m. for the report of an overdose. When they got there, they found two girls suffering from apparent overdoses.

One was given a dose of the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, and both were taken to the hospital. They have since recovered, according to the release.

During their investigation into the incident, police said detectives with the Organized Crime Section suspected Walter Zelaya Padilla, 19, of Fairfax, was the one who provided the drugs to an unnamed male juvenile, who they say was the supplier for the girls.

Padilla is facing charges including distribution of fentanyl to a person under 18, distribution of narcotics in a school zone, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He’s being held without bond.

The juvenile male, meanwhile, has been charged with distribution of fentanyl, distribution of narcotics in a school zone and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

In a memo to families after the incident, the school said that emergency personnel were at Wakefield to assist with “a medical incident involving students.” The students’ families were notified, the note said, and added that administrators aimed to ensure parents “are aware that the incident was resolved, and everyone is safe.”

The overdoses come months after Wakefield student Sergio Flores was suspected to have overdosed in a school bathroom and later died. The incident prompted families and community members to call for additional security measures at the high school.

Since then, Arlington has expanded the availability of naloxone, the generic form of Narcan, and has updated its policy to allow students to carry it in schools.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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