By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,384)
Residents of Cumberland Place, 457 Cumberland Avenue, say the 49-year old man who was found dead on the third floor of their apartment building was that of Fred Akoa, a black man. Police have reported that at 12:15 pm yesterday, management of the HUD building were called at the request of a family member who was concerned about his well-being. Police have said that the cause of his death is suspicious, but no further information on that is available pending an autopsy today.
Akoa had lived in the 43- unit building for less than a year say residents of the building who knew him and were neighbors. He clearly had an addiction problem – both drugs and alcohol they said. Akoa hung out at the nearby Rick’s Tavern on Portland Street according to Carl Gibbons, a Vietnam Vet and president of the Tenants Association. Akoa often brought home his drinking companions and let them stay in his apartment for days at a time – often when he wasn’t around for days at a time. The two tenants believe he was selling drugs because they saw him doing so in a nearby parking lot. Tenants called the police numerous times, but because they didn’t witness the actual transaction, were unable to pursue the matter.
Before Akoa moved to this building, it was very secure here. After he moved here, it all changed. It was scary to be in the hallways because you never knew who he’d brought home with him or who was staying in his apartment. His girlfriend was banned from the building because of problems she caused here,” said Alice Page who lives on the same floor that Akoa did.
“It didn’t have to happen like this, ” said Page, a long time tenant of the building. “More background screening is needed in this building,” she said. “All we can do for him now is pray.”