07/31/2012 12:27 pm ET Updated Jul 31, 2012

Yu Zhen Chen Of Philadelphia Charged With Animal Cruelty, Allegedly Tossed Kittens

A Philadelphia restaurant owner faces four counts of animal cruelty for allegedly torturing a family of defenseless kittens, according to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Surveillance footage shows Yu Zhen Chen, 25, tossing, bowling and swinging the kittens in circles in an alley outside the Red Star Chinese take-out.

"This is not neglect. It's malicious and he was intending on purposely hurting and torturing these kittens it's very disturbing," said Richard Loos of the Pennsylvania SPCA, according to NBC Philadelphia.

Police were investigating a shooting at the restaurant when they discovered the alleged cat juggler on security tapes.

"The images caught on the tape were extremely disturbing. He was swinging the cats by their tails and throwing them around and other acts of cruelty," said George Bengal, head of the Pennsylvania SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement, according to WPVI-TV.

The SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement arrested Yen on July 26. He was released from jail on Sunday after posting bond.

SPCA employees rescued three of the cats -- now named Carmella, Sonic and Eko -- and expect them to recover.

If convicted, Chen could spend several years in jail and up to $8,000 in fines, MyFoxPhilly reported.



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