By Lynne Adkins and Elizabeth Hur

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A shocking case of animal cruelty – A local man was arrested after he was caught on tape torturing kittens.

What the kittens had to endure, according to officials, was not only cruel but criminal and authorities say they will make sure 25-year-old Yu Zhen Chen pays for his crime.

George Bengal, SPCA Director of Law Enforcement said, “Every time I say this is the worst case I’ve seen, something always comes along that’s worse.”

The crime committed in this case, police say was all caught on a camera in the back alley behind Red Star Chinese restaurant in the 4900 block of Old York Road. Police were in the Logan neighborhood reviewing video that may have captured images of an unrelated shooting suspect from Tuesday.

Bengal explained, “As they went through the video footage looking for a suspect, they found at the end of this footage, an individual, a Chinese individual literally torturing cats.”

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The cats, now safe at the Pennsylvania SPCA, police say were seen on tape being swung by their tails, thrown in the air and repeatedly rolled on the ground like bowling balls.

No one at the restaurant wanted to talk on camera or tell us where Chen was Friday evening. Neighbors tell us as a co-owner, Chen took over the restaurant a few months ago. Authorities say in addition to the two kittens rescued, there were more kittens seen on the video, tortured. Police say those kittens are missing for now.

Bengal added, “There are 4 babies that are missing. At this time we don’t know where they are or what exactly happened to them. If he’s found guilty with this he’d be looking at couple years in jail and he could be looking at up to $8,000 in fines.”

The rescued kittens are said to be in good shape. They’re only about two weeks old, too young to be put up for adoption but officials say they will most certainly be looking for good homes down the road.

Chen was arrested on charges of torture and cruelty to animals.

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