Whitehall Township police are investigating a report  of a man beating a child with a belt near the front entrance of the Home Depot hardware store.

Officers were dispatched to the Home Depot at 135 MacArthur Road shortly before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

Police were told the situation was heated, with customers congregating and intervening on behalf of the child.

A couple with the child got into a car and left the property before police arrived. Police got the vehicle's license plate from witnesses and are tracking down the car, which they said is registered locally.

Police said there is no indication that the child was hospitalized after the beating.

Lt. Ribello Bertoni of Whitehall police said people are allowed to discipline their children, but can cross the line into child abuse. Determining whether Wednesday's incident constitutes such abuse is the focus of their investigation.