A CHILD abuse investigation has been launched after a mom live-streamed herself slapping her wailing toddler across the face.
The mother-of-three from North Carolina filmed herself repeatedly hitting the boy while saying "I really hate I gotta keep doing you like this 'cause your face gets red".
Officials with the Person County Department of Social Services said it was flooded with phone calls from alarmed citizens who watched the livestream in the early hours of Monday morning.
The 18-second clip opens with the toddler boy biting on his fist in the back of a car before a woman's hand first hits the child's arm and then slaps him in the face.
This causes the boy to burst into tears, cover his face with his hands and then slump.
The mother says: "I ain't done, come back."
As a parent the situation that played out on social media was very disturbing and heartbreaking
In another video shared on Facebook, the same woman is heard telling her son: "I really hate I gotta keep doing you like this 'cause your face gets red, but your daddy don't care.
"I'm about to hit you again, and again, and again."
One of those who raised the alarm was community activist and married father-of-five Jermaine Wallace.
He said he recognized the woman in the video as a mother-of-three from Roxboro, reports WRAL-TV.
He said: "As a parent the situation that played out on social media was very disturbing and heartbreaking.
"Watching a baby scream in pain at the hands of his mother."
Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones said the mother was arrested in Durham on outstanding warrants stemming from unrelated probation violation and failure to appear charges.
According to the agency, the mom's criminal record includes charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
She was reportedly in the Person County jail with her bond set at $276,800.
The Durham Police Department is conducting a separate investigation into allegations of child abuse.
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