But police are still looking for the suspect, and they're hoping surveillance video will lead to an arrest.
Authorities say the man snatched the phone from the boy on the platform of the No. 4 subway train at Jerome Avenue and East 170th Street on Sunday morning.
A 43-year-old family member ran after him and confronted the suspect in a Laundromat.
After a struggle, the suspect fled. The relative was able to retrieve the phone.
The suspect is described as a black male, 18-25 years old, standing 5-foot-7 and weighing 170 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers' website at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.