Defuse vs. diffuse: To defuse (something) is to make a threatening or dangerous situation safer. For example, you might defuse a violent argument by calming the people involved, or you might literally defuse a bomb by deactivating its fuse. Diffuse works as both a verb and an adjective. To diffuse something is to disperse it or spread it out. When something is dispersed or spread out, it is diffuse. -- Grammarist.com
Two young girls begin trading blows, and people try to tear them apart. An older gentleman in a hat tries to diffuse the situation, but is turned on by the teen boys crowding around, who seemed to have been enjoying the fight. The narrator, Don Balmain, can be heard gleefully yelling, “Kill him!” interspersed with laughs.
Fresh from exploding laws in South Carolina we now have a reporter (with usage checked by an editor) who would have us believe that a good Samaritan intervened in a fight to spread it around rather than deescalate it. Just what sort of illiterate products are the journalism schools turning out these days? No, wait, don't answer that.