If you watch South Beach Tow, then you know not to mess with Bernice, who has been known to rip a door off its hinges to get to the scofflaw inside.
But there’s more to the truTV star than her famous outbursts. Off set, Bernice, aka Lakatriona Brunson, is a lovely, calm person who doesn’t lash out or scream obscenities at motorists. . It’s an open secret that South Beach Tow — based on the misadventures of actual business Tremont Towing and airing 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays — is scripted, and the trashy meet wacky scenarios are dramatic re-enactments.
We talked to Bernice (born Lakatriona Brunson) about what’s it like to be …well, Bernice.
Can you tell us some little known facts about yourself?
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I was born at Jackson Memorial Hospital and raised in Miami. I graduated from Miami Northwestern Senior High School and then went to Tennessee State University. I still live in the ’hood I grew up in — in between El Portal and Lakeside. I also love R&B music, Beyonce and Fantasia being my favorites. And I absolutely love all the sports teams in Miami.
Is your family close by?
I don’t have kids, but I have five unofficial godkids; and my first official godson will be born in November.
What do you when you are off set?
I’m also a teacher/dean of discipline.
What was one of the funniest things that has ever happened to you while on the job?
Probably someone opening my door while I was napping. I almost fell out of the truck.
“SBT” has been going strong for four seasons. To what do you attribute its popularity?
It gives you action, laughter and crazy characters. Plus it shows many aspects of our town that people don’t see.
What do fans say to you when they see you?
They usually ask me if I am OK from the episode when the lady backed up and knocked me off the garage building last year [a stunt]. Sometimes they just ask to take a picture. The fans are awesome!
How hot is it when you are rolling?
When the sun is out, probably about 200 degrees.
Why do you think people don’t obey parking/traffic laws?
Because most of them are loaded and don’t care! Money creates monsters, and I tow all kinds of monsters’ cars.
Have you ever had your car towed?
I was towed by Tremont twice: Once while working for them as a joke (not funny) and once when I was younger.
What is it like being a reality star?
It’s not glamorous! The worst thing is the long hours. It’s a hustle, and you do have to work.