Uber driver who found grenade in backseat of his car during pro-Palestinian protest speaks out: ‘I can’t sleep’

The Uber driver who found an inert grenade in the back seat of his SUV in Times Square during a pro-Palestinian protest last week is so shaken he’s not sure when he’ll get behind the wheel again, he told The Post.

“I can’t drive,” Mourad Chouieb said. “I’m really scared. Last night, I can’t sleep.”

A group of four female passengers found the grenade last Saturday in his Infiniti QX60 at Seventh Avenue and West 42nd Street around 4 p.m.

Anti-Israel protesters blocked a NYPD Bomb Squad vehicle in Times Square. agrayphot0, /INstagram
Anti-Israel protesters blocked a NYPD Bomb Squad vehicle in Times Square. agrayphot0, /INstagram

They thought it was a toy and handed it to him, recalled Chouieb, who came to the city from Algeria five years ago.

“I put it in the front seat,” the 30-year-old said. “After I dropped the passengers off, I think ‘Oh my God this looks real’ — and called 911.’”

The NYPD Bomb Squad and Emergency Services Unit rushed to the Crossroads of the World to examine the device, but were delayed by rowdy protesters who were part of Millions March for Palestine.

Chouieb said he was driving for Uber when a passenger said she found a grenade in the backseat of his Infiniti SUV. Getty Images
Chouieb said he was driving for Uber when a passenger said she found a grenade in the backseat of his Infiniti SUV. Getty Images

Six protesters were arrested for resisting and obstruction of government activity, two were arrested for assault and two were hit with disorderly conduct summonses, police said.

“They were like ‘Is that yours?’” he said, recalling what police asked him. “I was like ‘O-M-G if it’s mine why do I call 911?’”

He said he had no clue who could have left the device in his car.

Protesters clashed with cops when they blocked a Bomb Squad vehicle. agrayphot0, /INstagram
Protesters clashed with cops when they blocked a Bomb Squad vehicle. agrayphot0, /INstagram
A large pro-Palestine protest marched from Washington Square Park to Times Square, amidst reports of a grenade found in a parked vehicle at 42nd Street Citizen
A large pro-Palestine protest marched from Washington Square Park to Times Square, amidst reports of a grenade found in a parked vehicle at 42nd Street Citizen

“I get a lot of passengers,” Chouieb said. “I work the night shift. You can’t see what the people have. I didn’t check my cab for like four days.”

Police determined that the grenade was inert and couldn’t have exploded. When cops told him he could leave, he was afraid to drive, he said. He made it home but decided he needed some time off.

“I never had an experience like this,” said Chouieb, who lives in Astoria, said. “I want to take a break.”