A Tampa neighborhood watch commander is facing charges for shooting at a convicted drug dealer.

Sam Mobley, 70, has been a neighborhood watchman in his east Tampa neighborhood for a decade. He has won awards, recognition and has worked closely with Tampa police to help rid the neighborhood of drug dealers.

This week, Mobley was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He says that a convicted drug dealer approached him, threatened to get him out of the neighborhood, and made racial slurs

Mobley says he thought the man had something in his hand.

The neighborhood watchman says he fired two warning shots never hitting the man.

"I shot low to the ground," said Mobley. "I didn't shoot to kill."

Mobley believes drug dealers are threatening him because he has disrupted their business on the block.

"Whatever way they could get me, they were gonna do it,” said Mobley. “I was stopping their business -- they wanted to get rid of me. That's what I feel."

Mobley's wife witnessed the confrontation. Brenda Mobley says she believed the man had a gun.

"I actually thought he was gonna start shooting at us," she said. "That's the fear I had."

Tampa police say they had no choice but to charge Mobley.  

At the same time, they acknowledge that he has done a lot to clean up crime in the neighborhood.

"Yes he has," said Lt. Yvette Flynn of TPD.  "It's an unfortunate situation that he took it upon himself.  But he is one of our neighborhood watch coordinators and he's done good."

Police say because the man Mobley shot at was not on his property, Mobley had no right to shoot.

Mobley plans to fight the charges.